Curiosity Matters

An Exploration of Branding, Design and Cultural Trends

The Concert That Wasn't: My Disappointing Adventure to Madison Square Garden

As my coworkers were running to the windows on Friday afternoon, stressed about getting home before the blizzard hit, I was hitting refresh on Madison Square Garden's website. My friend purchased tickets to Passion Pit via StubHub, apparently a preferred ticket resaler. As conditions worsened and the MTA issued increasing warnings, we both worried about how we'd actually get to the concert. With each refresh, nothing changed - the concert was still on. My friend drove through intense weather conditions from South New Jersey and checked into her hotel at Newark - an appropriate strategy given the weather conditions and her flight out the next day. Finally, around 5, I went back to my apartment in Williamsburg to get ready for the concert. By around 7, I received a text from my friend saying she had arrived in Newark and was heading to the train station. I trekked to the Bedford Avenue L through the quiet, almost magical streets that is New York City during a snow storm. Halfway there, I received a text. My friend couldn't come into the city after having driven nearly two hours because they stopped all trains going into Manhattan from New Jersey. She was understandably beside herself. She forwarded the email containing the tickets and recommended I go anyway. So I hopped on the L and arrived at Madison Square Garden, excited to see my first concert there but sad my friend couldn't attend. I waited on the on call line with phone in hand, eager to explain my situation. When I arrived at the desk, the clerk informed me that there was nothing he could do. He couldn't print out my tickets because they were through StubHub. I'd have to find a Duane Reade or Kinkos to print them out. I was furious. The entire experience seemed like a case study in companies being irresponsible and mistreating their customers. For one, they should have canceled the concert the minute public transportation started shutting down and government organizations started issuing warnings about Nemo. I recognize rescheduling a concert can be an expensive endeavor but that's what they have insurance for, and jacked up ticket prices. Instead, ticket goers had to lose some serious money or spend even more by taking cabs and alternative routes to attend. I used my phone to find the nearest Duane Reade at their recommendation but of course, it did not have a printer I could use. And according to my phone, there were no nearby FedEx/Kinkos open. Would it have been so expensive for StubHub to have a few printer kiosks? Or for them to include a scannable bar code within their email? Instead, my friend and I lost a good chunk of change and time because of an irresponsible company decision and lack of simple mobile innovation.

This is my first experience at Madison Square Garden and with StubHub,  perhaps my last.